Oil Pollution in Ice Covered Waters

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August 2010
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This publication is a guide to oil pollution and oil spill response in ice covered waters.

This guide to oil pollution and oil spill response focuses on ice covered waters. Topics covered include:

  • Arctic incidents and overall spill trends from vessels
  • spill scenarios
  • response options
  • international agreements and regulations.

This chapter covers a number of oil spill response topics relevant to mariners trading in ice-covered waters:

  • Arctic incidents and overall spill trends from vessels
  • Spill scenarios incorporating:
  • Spill sources
  • Oil types and properties
  • Ice conditions
  • Response options
  • International agreements and regulations incorporating:
  • Environmental guidelines and codes
  • Liabilities and conventions
  • Selected information resources and links

The discussion focuses on the accidental release of oil and/ or toxic chemicals into the Arctic marine environment as a result of a shipping incident. Chronic or routine operational

discharges such as stack emissions, stern tube leakage, grey water, sewage and garbage are mentioned only in terms of their regulation and enforcement by different international and national agreements (See Section 1.7). The intent of this Chapter is to provide the necessary

background information and links to other resources that a ship’s crew can use to:

1. appreciate the need to enforce continuous spill prevention practices at the highest level

2. plan for the worst-case incident with informed decision making

3. exercise emergency bridge management systems that reflect an understanding of the likely behaviour of oil spilled under different circumstances and take into account the range of response activities that could be brought into the region by outside agencies. A number of these activities such as dispersant application and burning could involve moving the vessel under its own power or under tow to a safe location removed from the main spill.

1.1 Introduction and Overview

1.2 Incidents and Accidents in Ice-covered Waters

1.3 Spill Scenarios

1.4 Oil in Ice Behaviour

1.5 Detection and Spill Surveillance

1.6 Oil Recovery and Removal

1.7 International Agreements and Regulations

1.8 Some Useful Resources

1.9 Selected References: Arctic Oil Spills


Witherbys titles are developed using scripts developed by technical experts that are peer reviewed within work groups. Typically, they seek to improve understanding of the regulations, recommendations and guidelines issued by Industry.

Witherbys staff have significant expertise in the fields of navigation and hazardous cargoes as well as in the presentation of complex subjects in a graphic and easy to understand manner.

David Dickins

David Dickins (P.Eng.) has a broad range of Arctic offshore experience gained through 38 years of projects focusing on offshore oil exploration and development and the marine transportation of oil in Arctic waters. David is an expert in Arctic environmental studies, remote sensing, shipping routes in ice, oil spills, sea ice conditions and air cushion vehicles and has contributed to conference papers and journal articles on Arctic environmental and transportation issues.

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
August 2010
Book Height:
0 mm
Book Width:
0 mm

David Dickins